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Mux Player for iOS

Learn how to use Mux Player SDK to play video delivered by Mux in your iOS or iPadOS application

This guide will help you install the Mux Player SDK in your native iOS or iPadOS application. If you encounter any issues please let us know by filing an issue on Github.

Install the SDK

Let's start by installing the SDK. We'll use the Swift Package Manager. Step-by-step guide on using Swift Package Manager in Xcode.

Open your applications project in Xcode. In the Xcode menu bar select File > Add Packages. In the top-right corner of the modal window that opens enter the SDK repository URL which is https://github.com/muxinc/mux-player-swift.

By default Xcode will fetch the latest version of the SDK available on the main branch. If you need a specific package version or to restrict the range of package versions used in your application, select a different Dependency Rule. Here's an overview of the different SPM Dependency Rules and their semantics.

Click on Add Package to begin resolving and downloading the SDK package. When completed, select your application target as the destination for the MuxPlayerSwift package product. To use the SDK in your application, import it's module: import MuxPlayerSwift.

Stream video from a Mux asset

We'd love to hear your feedback about our approach, shoot us a note at avplayer@mux.com with feature requests, API feedback, or just to let us know what you'd like to build.

Use MuxPlayerSwift to setup an AVPlayerViewController or AVPlayerLayer that can download and stream a Mux asset with only a playback ID. The SDK will also enable Mux Data monitoring to help you measure the performance and quality of your application's video experiences.

import AVFoundation
import AVKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
/// After you're done testing, you can check this video out to learn more about video and players (as well as some philosophy)
let playbackID = "qxb01i6T202018GFS02vp9RIe01icTcDCjVzQpmaB00CUisJ4"
/// Prepare an AVPlayerViewController to stream and monitor a Mux asset
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID
)
return playerViewController
}
let examplePlayerViewController = preparePlayerViewController(playbackID: playbackID)
/// Prepare an AVPlayerLayer to stream and monitor a Mux asset
func preparePlayerLayer(
playbackID: String
) -> AVPlayerLayer {
let playerLayer = AVPlayerLayer(
playbackID: playbackID
)
return playerLayer
}

Your application can customize how Mux Video delivers video to the player using playback URL modifiers. A playback URL modifier is appended as a query parameter to a public playback URL. The MuxPlayerSwift exposes a type-safe Swift API that constructs these URLs.

import AVFoundation
import AVKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
/// After you're done testing, you can check out this video out to learn more about video and players (as well as some philosophy)
let playbackID = "qxb01i6T202018GFS02vp9RIe01icTcDCjVzQpmaB00CUisJ4"
/// Prepares a ready-for-display AVPlayer instance that will not exceed 720 x 1280 resolution
/// when streaming video
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(
maximumResolution: .upTo720p
)
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
return playerViewController
}
let examplePlayerViewController = preparePlayerViewController(playbackID: playbackID)

The example above delegated constructing the playback URL and appending playback modifiers to the SDK.

When using the AVPlayerViewController or AVPlayerLayer convenience initializers provided by the MuxPlayerSwift there are no required steps to enable Mux Data monitoring for video streamed from a Mux playback URL.

See the below section for more details and how to customize Mux Data monitoring.

AVPlayerLayer-backed views

If you're using UIView that is backed by an AVPlayerLayer to display video, MuxPlayerSwift exposes APIs to setup an existing AVPlayerLayer for playback.

import AVFoundation
import UIKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
/// Prepare an already initialized AVPlayerLayer to stream and monitor a Mux asset
func preparePlayerLayer(
playbackID: String,
playerView: UIView
) {
// Check to make sure the player view backing
// layer is of the correct type and get a
// reference if it is
guard let playerLayer = playerView.layer as? AVPlayerLayer else {
print("Unexpected backing layer type!")
return
}
// Prepares the player layer to stream media
// and monitor playback with Data
playerLayer.prepare(
playbackID: playbackID
)
}

Your application can also customize playback or monitoring with Mux Data by using the same parameters as shown for the AVPlayerLayer initializers above.

Monitor media playback

By default Mux Data metrics will be populated in the same environment as your playback ID. Learn more about Mux Data metric definitions here.

Read on for additional (and optional) setup steps to modify or extend the information Mux Data tracks.

Use MonitoringOptions to set custom monitoring-related parameters.

If you're already using the Mux Data SDK for AVPlayer this initializer allows you to any of your existing logic for constructing MUXSDKCustomerData.

import AVKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
let customEnvironmentKey = "ENV_KEY"
let playerData = MUXSDKCustomerPlayerData()
playerData.environmentKey = customEnvironmentKey
let videoData = = MUXSDKCustomerVideoData()
videoData.videoTitle = "Video Behind the Scenes"
videoData.videoSeries = "Video101"
let customerData = MUXSDKCustomerData()
customerData.playerData = playerData
customerData.videoData = videoData
let monitoringOptions = MonitoringOptions(
customerData: customerData
)
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID,
monitoringOptions: monitoringOptions
)
return playerViewController
}

Stream video from a Mux asset securely

Mux Video supports playback access control. See here for more. The MuxPlayerSwift supports streaming with playback IDs that have a signed playback policy.

A signed playback policy enables playback URLs that need to include a valid JSON Web Token (JWT) in order to gain access. Your application should generate and sign the JWT in a trusted environment that you control like a server-side application. As a security measure any playback modifiers must be passed through the JWT as additional claims.

Once your application receives the JWT, use it to initialize PlaybackOptions. Then, initialize AVPlayerViewController or AVPlayerLayer as before.

import AVFoundation
import AVKit
import UIKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
/// Prepare an AVPlayerViewController to stream and monitor a Mux asset
/// with a playback ID that has a signed playback policy
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String,
playbackToken: String
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(playbackToken: playbackToken)
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
return playerViewController
}
/// Prepare an AVPlayerLayer to stream and monitor a Mux asset
/// with a playback ID that has a signed playback policy
func preparePlayerLayer(
playbackID: String,
playbackToken: String
) -> AVPlayerLayer {
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(playbackToken: playbackToken)
let playerLayer = AVPlayerLayer(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
return playerLayer
}
/// Prepare an already initialized AVPlayerLayer to stream and monitor a Mux asset
/// with a playback ID that has a signed playback policy
func preparePlayerLayer(
playbackID: String,
playbackToken: String,
playerView: UIView
) {
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(playbackToken: playbackToken)
// Check to make sure the player view backing
// layer is of the correct type and get a
// reference if it is
guard let playerLayer = playerView.layer as? AVPlayerLayer else {
print("Unexpected backing layer type!")
return
}
// Prepares the player layer to stream media
// and monitor playback with Data
playerLayer.prepare(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
}

If your JWT includes a playback restriction, Mux will not be able perform domain validation when the playback URL is loaded by AVPlayer because no referrer information is supplied.

To allow AVPlayer playback of referrer restricted assets set the allow_no_referrer boolean parameter to true when creating a playback restriction. Conversely, a playback restriction with allow_no_referrer to false will disallow AVPlayer playback. See here for more.

Customize playback

More tools to control playback behavior

Restrict Resolution Range

Mux Video gives you extra control over the available resolutions of your video.

MuxPlayerSwift exposes convenience APIs to adjust the maximum and minimum resolutions if they are available.

Setting a maximum resolution helps reduce delivery costs while setting a minimum resolution helps ensure visual quality of your video. Maximum and minimum resolutions can be set independently or composed together.

If you're using signed URLs, you'll need to embed min_resolution and max_resolution into the JWT claims. Full documentation available here.

This example restricts the resolution range AVPlayer requests to be between 720p and 1080p.

import AVKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
/// Prepare an AVPlayerViewController to stream a Mux asset
/// with a resolution range between 720p and 1080p
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String,
maximumResolution: MaxResolutionTier,
minimumResolution: MinResolutionTier
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(
maximumResolutionTier: .upTo1080p,
minimumResolutionTier: .atLeast720p
)
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
return playerViewController
}

This example restricts the resolution AVPlayer requests to a single fixed resolution of 720p.

/// Prepare an AVPlayerViewController to stream a Mux asset
/// at a fixed 720p resolution
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String,
singleRenditionResolutionTier: SingleRenditionResolutionTier,
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(
singleRenditionResolutionTier: .only720p
)
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
return playerViewController
}

Adjust Resolution Selection

When AVPlayer requests delivery of HLS content, it first downloads a series of text files, commonly called manifests or playlists, to describe the available qualities of a video and the location of all the segments that comprise the video.

The order of renditions in the initial manifest or playlist can influence the resolution level a player selects. When using the Mux Player Swift SDK your application can manipulate that order in the PlaybackOptions provided to AVPlayerViewController or AVPlayerLayer.

If your Mux asset is publicly playable, specify a RenditionOrder.

import AVKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
/// Prepare an AVPlayerViewController to stream a Mux asset
/// with a descending rendition order
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(
renditionOrder: .descending
)
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
return playerViewController
}

The available values for rendition order are listed here.

If using signed playback URLs in your application, you'll need "rendition_order" : "desc" for descending rendition order into your JWT claims. Full documentation available here.

See the Mux blog and this guide for more on these options.

Improve playback performance

AVPlayer supports playing back HTTP live streams without pre-loading. When playing the same video more than once in this case, AVPlayer does not provide a means for making sure cached video files are used for subsequent playback. This may result in higher network throughput and additional video delivery cost when the same video is played more than once.

One alternative is to enable static renditions for your Mux asset that your application can download and persist using URLSession and FileManager APIs.

Another is to first preload streams. As with static renditions, it requires your application to manage downloads and handling storage. (See the Apple offline playback and storage documentation for more details on pre-loading).

Mux Player Swift offers a caching mechanism for streams that only provide a single rendition to the player. This cache is primarily tested against and provides the most cost-savings benefit when constraining playback to a single rendition. Your application is required to select a resolution tier to which playback will be constrained when using the smart cache.

This avoids manual intervention required by the previous two options.

Like a browser’s cache, cached segments can be used by all players in your application, as long as they’re configured to use the smart cache. If your application uses multiple player instances, you can enable smart cache for them by using the convenience initializers provided by the SDK.

The example below enables the smart cache with playback at single fixed resolution.

import AVKit
import MuxPlayerSwift
/// Prepare an AVPlayerViewController to stream a Mux asset
/// at a single pre-selected resolution with smart caching enabled
func preparePlayerViewController(
playbackID: String,
singleRenditionResolutionTier: SingleRenditionResolutionTier
) -> AVPlayerViewController {
// Requires a single rendition resolution tier
// available values can be found here
// https://devdocs.mux.dev/mux-player-swift/documentation/muxplayerswift/singlerenditionresolutiontier
//
let playbackOptions = PlaybackOptions(
enableSmartCache: true,
singleRenditionResolutionTier: singleRenditionResolutionTier
)
let playerViewController = AVPlayerViewController(
playbackID: playbackID,
playbackOptions: playbackOptions
)
return playerViewController
}

The smart cache will be automatically purged after your application is terminated. It may be purged by the operating system at any time when your application is suspended in the background.

Mux supports HLS video delivery with Transport Stream segments or Common Media Application Format (CMAF) chunks. Both are supported by the smart cache. See this explainer for a general introduction to video delivery.

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